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Chapter 1: Introducing the Android Compu... > Delving Into the Dalvik VM

Delving Into the Dalvik VM

As part of Android, Google has spent a lot of time thinking about optimizing designs for low-powered handheld devices. Handheld devices lag behind their desktop counterparts in memory and speed by eight to ten years. They also have limited power for computation. The performance requirements on handsets are severe as a result, requiring handset designers to optimize everything. If you look at the list of packages in Android, you'll see that they are fully featured and extensive.

These issues led Google to revisit the standard JVM implementation in many respects. The key figure in Google's implementation of this JVM is Dan Bornstein, who wrote the Dalvik VM—Dalvik is the name of a town in Iceland. Dalvik VM takes the generated Java class files and combines them into one or more Dalvik Executable (.dex) files. The goal of the Dalvik VM is to find every possible way to optimize the JVM for space, performance, and battery life.


  

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